From the Candidate's Website: Marty Walsh's Cultural Affairs Agenda


*All language comes form the candidate's website:


"Marty Walsh understands that art can change lives, build communities, create jobs, and create new opportunities for individuals, neighborhoods, and Boston as a whole. He was the first mayoral candidate to publicly pledge to create a cabinet-level commissioner for the arts. This will be a key component in implementing his larger vision integrating the arts throughout Boston’s policies, initiatives, and programs. Creation of an Office of Cultural Affairs will help make this a reality while strengthening and growing Boston’s arts and culture. This new office will be a partner in all creative economic and tourism discussions and initiatives.

Boston’s artists of all disciplines, ages, and backgrounds are central to Marty’s planned Artists First Initiative. This initiative will address artists’ occupational health needs, professional development, affordable artist space, fair trade, and compensation. Artists will have a true partner and advocate in City Hall when Marty is elected. He will support the full range of art and expression that contribute to Boston’s collective culture and traditions. Marty’s proposals for this sector center on the following:

ACCESS:  The Walsh Administration will work to ensure that all residents and communities have easy access to the City’s vast cultural resources.
●    Inclusion – Marty’s Office of Cultural Affairs will work closely with the City’s Chief Diversity Officer to ensure that the Office reflects and effectively serves all Boston’s populations.
●    Space – The Walsh Administration will foster the creation of co-ops in housing, business, and work space. Marty will also seek to expand the use of existing city incubators and spaces for culture. He will work with building owners and other landlords to help create needed temporary and rental work spaces of all kinds. He will also investigate innovative uses of libraries, parks, and other city property and assets as venues for arts and culture, including temporary performances and exhibit spaces. 
●    Funding and Resources – As Mayor, Marty would seek to hire a Chief Development Officer for the City. This Officer will coordinate the City’s current efforts in seeking support, grants, and sponsorship opportunities, and will work collaboratively with the Office of Cultural Affairs in securing new funding streams for the sector. The City will match the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s funding of the Boston Cultural Council. Marty will establish a Percent for Art Program.
●    Arts Education K-12 – Marty will support robust arts education in the school system, including the existing Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Initiative, and partnerships with Boston artists. Marty will also seek to establish science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) pathways for students. 
●    Creating “Art Pathways” for Boston’s Teens – This program will be integral Marty’s arts education platform and dovetails nicely with his demonstrated commitment to vocational training. Art Pathways for Teens will leverage and grow the arts programs our colleges and universities offer for Boston high school students and teens. It will support the Boston Youth Fund and arts and cultural organizations that offer teens summer employment. It will expand the Mayor’s Mural Team into the Mayor’s Public Art Team so that young people can work on public art projects, performances, and events with professional artists as well as receive transformative training in art entrepreneurship and innovation (administration/office skills, proposal writing, etc.). Finally, the program will partner to increase the number of arts organizations providing free programs and free admission for teens.

ACCOUNTABILITY:  Marty will prioritize active partnerships wherein the City will be accountable to the public and stakeholders in the arts sector.
●    Ongoing Feedback Solicitation – Marty’s Cultural Affairs Commissioner will actively and regularly solicit feedback from stakeholders and the arts community to ensure the Cultural Affairs Team is working to its fullest potential.
●    Creative Economy Plan for the City – In collaboration with the City’s development authority, Marty will direct a comprehensive and inclusive creative economy plan for the City of Boston generated via a citywide public engagement process that will identify attainable goals and strategies for the arts and culture sector.
●    Fair Trade – The Walsh Administration will employ best practices in dealing with artists of all disciplines. He will ensure that the City abides by fair labor standards and that artists of all disciplines are not expected to provide their work and services for free or well below a living wage when engaging with the City.
●    Historic Preservation – Protecting the City’s historic past is a priority for the Walsh Administration. The Office of Cultural Affairs will work with stakeholders to conduct a needs assessment to develop a plan to protect and archive our City’s historical cultural assets. The Commissioner will provide more visibility to the City’s Archaeology Program. Likewise, the Office of Cultural Affairs will explore ways to collaborate with the City Archives and to better promote their programs, holdings, and exhibits to the Boston arts community and the general public.

COLLABORATION:  Marty will foster cultural democracy and cultural equity by seeking out all of Boston’s populations and demographics to be active artistic and cultural collaborators and will encourage this collaborative spirit beyond Boston’s borders. The arts will be also be integrated across all City departments and programs through substantive engagement with Boston residents and employees.
●    Cultural Diplomacy Utilization of the Sector – Marty’s Office of Cultural Affairs will elevate Boston’s artists and its arts and culture sector by establishing a more visible relationship with Boston's sister cities and the various embassies and consulates around Boston. This initiative will include a dynamic public art program and robust year-round programming.
●    Team Support Model – The Office of Cultural Affairs will stress a model of teamwork and collaboration, both internally and externally. The Cultural Affairs staff will work with Neighborhood Services, BPL library branches, elder services, youth services, community policing teams, Main Streets programs, local chambers of commerce, Parks and Recreation, and schools to create a supportive network for artists and the arts and cultural organizations located in Boston’s neighborhoods. This will enable the cultural community to find new audiences, supporters, and collaborators while enabling each neighborhood to work together to problem solve on the issues they collectively face. 
●    Building Boston’s Film Community – The Office of Cultural Affairs will collaborate with the Boston Film Office to ensure that their programs and policies are easy to access and are supportive of individual artists who work in experimental film, art-based film, and public video projections. Both departments will work together to grow the film sector and to create inclusive networking opportunities for the art-based film community, the commercial film community, the independent film community, and the documentary film community. 
●    Supporting Our Master Artists of All Disciplines – The Commission on Affairs of the Elderly will work with the Office of Cultural Affairs to find ways to better support Boston’s mid- to late-career artists. The departments will work together to address age bias in the arts sector, support these artists to continue creating work, support the mentorship of master artists to future artists, and assist older artists in establishing estate/legacy plans for their creative work.

TRANSPARENCY:  Marty will mandate that the decisions, decision-makers, stakeholders, funding, and timelines for his office and Boston as a whole are accessible and clear to all. He has also vowed streamline the entire City’s permitting processes to make it easier for those wishing to do business, events, and programming with the City of Boston.
●    Comprehensive Cultural Affairs Web Portal – The Walsh Administration will prioritize making city government as transparent as possible. The Office of Cultural Affairs will have an easy-to-navigate web portal which will include: the Office’s organizational chart with contact information; Office budgets; a calendar that lists grant deadlines, public meetings, and dates for programs/grants/services/workshops; a comprehensive listing of all of programs, services, and grants; and forms, permit applications, and payments in online and downloadable formats.
●    Rebranding of the City for the 21st Century – Marty’s Cultural Affairs team will work on a micro-level with Boston’s neighborhood art communities and organizations to encourage “Community-Driven Branding” that will be integrated into the Walsh Administration’s macro-branding initiative for Boston. This will include better access to and use of Boston’s promotional signage, such as street lights and neighborhood street banners, and will ensure that rebranding of an area takes into full account the existing communities that live and work in that area.

Marty Will Make It Happen As Mayor:  Solid Record of Supporting Arts and Culture in Massachusetts

Marty Walsh is the only mayoral candidate who has had to take tough votes to move not only our state, but our country, forward. During his 16 years as a legislator, he has demonstrated a commitment to the arts and culture. Some of his accomplishments include: 
●    being the first candidate to hold an arts and culture town hall meeting
●    repeatedly voting to increase funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council
●    voting to override Romney’s veto of $1.9 million of funds for the Massachusetts Cultural Council
●    voting for the 2006 Economic Stimulus Bill which established the state’s Cultural Facilities Fund
●    voting for the Economic Development Bill which established the Commonwealth’s Cultural Districts Program in 2010
●    cosigning an act establishing a Disaster and Emergency Aid Fund for Massachusetts Artists
●    voting for the state’s landmark Health Care Reform law which enabled many of our artists, cultural workers, and so many of our residents to gain access to needed affordable health care

Marty has the proven ability to build unlikely coalitions to work together to achieve important goals for the betterment of all. This is the kind of mayor Boston needs. Marty is a proven leader who will put in place a strong team to empower Boston and allow its arts and culture sector to shine."

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